Print 41 comment(s) - last by eirruby.. on Apr 17 at 2:58 PM

Apple does the unthinkable and approves Opera Mini for the iPhone, iPod touch

In what must be one of the most shocking developments in the whole Apple App Store versus the third-party app market comes news that Opera Mini has been approved by Apple for the iPhone and iPod touch. When Opera Software submitted the apps for Apple's prying eyes back in March, no one really took them seriously and thought that they were just showing off to drum up some press.

Well, Apple has shown Opera some leniency and Opera Mini will be available to U.S. iPhone and iPod touch users shortly. Here's the Opera press release in its entirety:

Opera today announced its popular mobile browser, Opera Mini has been approved for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. Opera Mini will be available as a free download within 24 hours, depending on market.

Opera Mini, with more than 50 million users worldwide, enables fast mobile Web browsing by compressing data by up to 90 percent before sending content to the device, resulting in significantly improved page loading. Users of the app will notice an uptake in speed, especially on slower networks such as the 2G Edge network. Surfing the Web with the Opera Mini App on iPhone and iPod touch will also help users save money because of its data compression capabilities. This will hold especially true while the user is incurring roaming charges.

"We are delighted to offer iPhone and iPod touch users a great browsing experience with the Opera Mini App," said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. "This app is another step toward Opera's goal of bringing the Web to more people in more places."

The Opera Mini App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at

Could the walls be crumbling in Apple's heavy-handed approach to App Store acceptance/rejection? Maybe Opera just caught Steve Jobs on a good day. Who knows, but this is at least a good step forward for Apple.

Updated 4/13/2010

It's now available in the iTunes Store.

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By AlterBridge86 on 4/12/2010 9:21:04 PM , Rating: 5
Apple probably figured if they didn't approve Opera then they might sue them and force them to put a browser ballot screen on the iPhone for a fair choice of mobile browser... :-)

RE: Well...
By cmdrdredd on 4/12/2010 9:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if I should feel good about this or shouldn't care. Safari seemed ok, but AT&T's network was crap. I'm speaking in past tense because I have since switched to Verizon and use a Droid. I didn't see anything wrong with Safari when it worked, and I fail to see how another browser could offer anything compelling enough to use it instead on a mobile device. Even with some form of compression, AT&T either worked for me or didn't.

RE: Well...
By someguy123 on 4/12/2010 9:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
According to the article Opera mini should allow crappier connections (aka all AT&T connections) to load faster due to lower amounts of data transfer.

RE: Well...
By cmdrdredd on 4/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: Well...
By lecanard on 4/12/2010 10:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actually AT&T's 3G is faster if you live in cities that aren't NY or SF, so this would be even more useful if the iPhone was released on Verizon's slower 3G network. I know it's fun to mock AT&T, but let's not misinform people who live in places like LA and trick them into switching to Verizon, hoping for better service, only to be let down by the slower 3G.

If you live in a less populated area and are stuck on AT&T's Edge network, then yes, this will be a big help.

RE: Well...
By 67STANG on 4/12/2010 11:25:19 PM , Rating: 5
Har-har. Do you live under an AT&T tower?

The fact of the matter is, Verizon's "slower" 3G is actually faster in the real world because:

a) It's usually where you are.
b) If you have AT&T and Verizon 3G service in the area, Verizon almost always has a better connection.
c) I've noticed I almost always drop calls while indoors unless I turn 3G off on my AT&T phone.

After all, higher throughput speeds are only good if you can establish and retain a connection with a good S:N ratio.

I have both Verizon and AT&T and I travel all over. I'm speaking from experience-- not because I'm a fanboy of either carrier.

RE: Well...
By invidious on 4/13/2010 2:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
I have AT&T. My 3g is fine. I NEVER get dropped calls, neither does anyone I know who has AT&T. I have lived all over the state in CT, I travel to southern Mass very often and NYC every few months.

Why is it so hard to believe that AT&T is only bad in certain areas? You say yourself that it varies by area. I used to have terrible 3g reception on my iPhone but Apple released a software patch a long time ago to fix it. So it turned out not to be AT&T's fault.

In these cases the only news you hear about is bad news. People who are happy with their service rarely go online to forums ranting about how satisfied they are. You can't assume that because all you see is complaints that everyone's service is terrible. You are only seeing the loud minority. Clearly AT&T didn't get as large as they are by having terrible service.

I can't speak to the speed of AT&T vs speed of Verizon, but last time I checked I was getting 200 kpbs on my 3G.

RE: Well...
By icanhascpu on 4/17/2010 5:06:40 AM , Rating: 2
I get over 200kbps on EDGE.

RE: Well...
By omnicronx on 4/13/2010 11:33:59 AM , Rating: 4
FUD.. Anyone who really thinks GSM 3G is substantially faster than CDMA 3G is kidding themselves.. (especially when you consider how similar they are in nature when talking about 3g)

In real world scenarios, they are pretty much the same, with GSM networks usually having a better upload speed (but really who cares)..

It all depends on the area you live in, some areas where GSM networks are crammed, CDMA will be faster, the exact opposite is also true. Some areas one carrier has invested more money than the other etc etc.. but to say one network is 'slower than the other' in general is just plain incorrect..

FYI.. It does not matter where you live or what network you are accessing, Opera Mini will be sustancially faster on current hardware. Displaying a picture is much less CPU intensive than rendering a webpapge, not to mention the compression factor. I've been using it for a while, side by side with Opera Mobile, and its definitely a lot faster. Its also good for displaying webpages that your normal browser can't.

RE: Well...
By Chaser on 4/13/2010 2:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
I think what's more important here is actually having 3G coverage?

As a traveler on the road coast to coast you gotta have 3G for it to be slow or fast.

From personal experience of residing in urban and rural areas, Boston, San Francisco, Beaumont TX, Miami, Atlantic City, Petaluma, CA, Mobile Alabama, and a lot more AT&T's 3G coverage isn't even close to Verizon's. Another compelling reason why I switched from the iPhone to a Verizon (DROID). 3G.

The map doesn't lie.

RE: Well...
By lainofthewired on 4/12/2010 9:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
That would really set the flying pigs airborne.

RE: Well...
By rika13 on 4/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Well...
By MadMan007 on 4/13/2010 2:27:31 AM , Rating: 1
They also don't make money on 'free' web-based flash content. I honestly think that's the overriding prime reason and all the other stuff is a semi-smokescreen.

RE: Well...
By Tony Swash on 4/13/10, Rating: -1
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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